24 Sydenham Buildings, Westmoreland, Bath
24 Sydenham Buildings forms part of an unlisted late 19th century residential terrace situated within the Bath World Heritage Site and the indicative townscape setting of the conservation area. The terrace runs down towards the Great Western Railway line in a similar typology to other contemporary streets in the area such as Dorset Street and Stuart Place, and would likely have functioned as modest housing for railway workers as part of the wider, terraced residential provision for Bath’s industrial sector to the south of Bath and along the riverside. The two-storey stepped terrace is modest in scale and form with a two bay frontage in Bath stone ashlar and articulated stone porch over the front door and running pitched roofs regularly intersected with chimney stacks. Houses are provided with strips of rear garden that sit ‘back-to-back’ with the gardens of adjacent terraces on Westmoreland Street. Whilst of modest scale and construction, the terrace therefore constitutes a well-formed example of Bath’s late 19th century terraced housing stock with associated evidential and social significance associated with the city’s often-overlooked industrial past.
BPT previously commented in response to refused application 21/03624/FUL; we were opposed to the principle of the unjustified demolition and reconstruction of 24 Sydenham Buildings, and expressed some concerns with the apartment type of housing proposed in an area already oversaturated with HMO-style accommodation.
We therefore note that the improvements to the proposal in this latest application, with the retention of the existing dwelling and the omission of the oversized dormer from the rear roof slope. The house would be retained as a single dwelling rather than subdivided, and as such would be more compatible with the family use of housing in the local area. We note that there is no proposed change of use as part of this application and it would therefore retain a C3 use class.
However, we have some concerns regarding the proposed scale of the two storey side extension. The terrace is modest in scale and dwellings retain a uniform two bay frontage, characteristic of the scale and form of comparable terraced typologies within the area. Whilst the existing lean-to does offer capacity for a side extension, we maintain a preference for an addition that is more recessive in scale, form, and massing and therefore more clearly legible as a later addition to the terrace.
As proposed, the two storey side extension would sit flush with the original terrace frontage as well as extending the pitched roof profile with the result of losing the original chimney stack. We maintain that this extension would be over-dominant in scale, and the unbroken, cumulative scale of the frontage would be uncharacteristic of the terrace. We therefore strongly recommend that the extension should be reduced in scale and set down in height to sit below the established ridge height, and the principal façade should be recessed back from the historic terrace façade to read more clearly as a later addition.
The proposed plans and elevations indicate the presence of two green bins on the pavement outside. The permanent location of the bins on the pavement is not considered appropriate and would add unwelcome clutter to the public highway, and we strongly recommend a more suitable storage solution is designed into the scheme.